ESOCS Devotional 23 December 2022
TEXT: MATTHEW 3:1-17
MEMORY VERSE: ““And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:17
0 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted lace ”
This was a most wonderful moment at the beginning of Christianity. The Father acknowledged here that the beginning of our Christian faith was not faulted. Its solid foundation was laid on the unalloyed principle of holiness and righteousness by the One who is Himself the emblem or personification of all purity. One could imagine that at that moment a great audience made up of the hosts of heaven and the created beings both temporal and spiritual stood still when Almighty Creator and Commander of heaven and earth was speaking. Of course, His voice was heard in heaven and on earth. He was advertising the Lord Jesus! Why did the Father advertise our Lord this way? Why was He so pleased with the Son? Why was He celebrating the person of His Son? What was the reason He had that resounding joy in His heart? Why was there joy and rejoicing in heaven at that moment, and in the heart of the Father?
The reason is not far-fetched. Since the fall of Adam, there had never been any one who had lived through the world for thirty years without committing sin, except the Lord Jesus. One can imagine our heavenly Father beating His chest at that moment and letting heaven and earth know that at least He had a true Son who did not fail Him; one who was completely faithful, even when He had flesh and blood like every other person on earth.
‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!’ What a marvelous testimony it was! God bore witness and attested to our Lord’s cleanness. Wouldn’t it be glorious and highly edifying if the Father has such a testimony about us? Hebrews 4:15 says that He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” We could be like Him if we choose. This was the reason He came: that we may be sanctified by His grace and take up the righteousness of the Father in whose image and likeness we were created (Gen. 1:26). He came that through Him we may be made blameless; that we may be born again (John 3:3); that we may be made clean because of the word of God we would hear (John 15:3). We are the reason He left His throne in heaven and came into the world in the likeness of men, insulted, ridiculed by the people He created, tortured and crucified by them.
Let us step into the profound grace He has made available to us and exploit it to the fullest. That grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9). We can become as holy as He is if we determine in our hearts to be like Him in all things. There is only one basic rule to apply to our lives since we have become Christians already; that rule is: Do only the things that Jesus will do and do not do anything that He will not do. This is the summary of Christianity. If we keep this rule in our hearts always, we would surely live above sin and be like Him in holiness and righteousness, for truly His grace is sufficient for us.
- What do you like most about our Lord Jesus Christ? In what ways are you like Him?
- Pray that the grace to be like Jesus may be given to you.
- Pray that you may be given the power to live abov
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ESOCS Devotional 23 December 2022